3 Strategies for Addictive Advertisements

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Ever notice yourself actually hoping to hear or see certain ads (i.e. certain beer and car commercials, mac vs. pc commercials, etc.)? This is called addictive advertising and here are three steps to help you get there.
So much money is already spent on making ads and then airing them at the right time and place that you can’t risk your audience ignoring your message. Take Apple’s “I’m a Mac and I’m a PC” ads. You find that every time they launch a new ad, people all over the web not only link to the ads, but thousands immediately flock to see them. In fact you can spend a good 20 minutes just watching through an archive of those ads and actually enjoying them. The same goes for Budweiser’s “Real Men of Genius” ads. I personally tell all my friends in the car to shut up and crank up the radio when I hear one of those come on. So how can you tell tell when an ad is addictive, and what makes them so?
1) Using culturally accepted stereotypes
Budweiser’s commercials salute a new “that guy” every month. For example “that guy” who searches the beach with a metal detector, or “that guy” who collects cheesy car decorations. Apple does the same thing by pitting the conservative nerd against the fun-loving artist. These are people your customers can easily relate to.
2) Having a theme for all your ads
You want your ads to have an interesting theme. Easy ways to keep a theme once you choose it are using the same characters, voice overs, or endings or connecting each ad as a part of the complete story. This creates a backdrop of expectations for your customers while leaving them wondering exactly how you will get from the beginning to the end.
3) Using wit (not stats) to outshine competitors
People are sick of hearing that your prices are 20% lower than than the other guy. It’s relevant, but it’s not the stuff addictive advertising is made of. I can’t repeat a single ad I heard on the radio today, but I remember a billboard I saw when I was 12 years old. It was a Burger King ad that said “Meals fit for a king, not a clown.” I never saw that billboard again, but I think about it whenever deciding between a Big Mac or a Whopper. A more widespread version of this are the Quizno’s ads that refer to Subway as “wrong way” and show a dimly lit store with miserable employees.
What you really want to do is make ads that don’t look or sound like ads. Market your products or services without sounding like a car salesman. By using these three tips you can go a long way in ensuring that your advertising becomes treasured content that people not only listen to but actively try to consume.

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